Workplace Investigations: How do they work?

What is a workplace investigation?

A workplace investigation is an impartial information gathering process that can be conducted by an external investigator. It is used to establish the facts and circumstances relating to a complaint or grievance.

Investigations into misconduct issues can also be conducted.

The independent investigator takes into consideration all the relevant information to establish findings and, when required, make recommendations. Investigations are handled confidentially, promptly and with a high level of sensitivity

What is the role of the investigator?

The investigator operates within a defined scope established at the point of engagement with the organisation.

The investigator’s role is to gather information in order to establish facts, clarify events and ultimately determine if, on the balance of probability, the complaint or grievance is substantiated. The investigator is a neutral, impartial and independent professional who provides a finding based on the available evidence.

What is the investigation process?

  • The complainant (person making complaint) is interviewed first to clarify the details of the complaint.
  • The respondent (the person about whom a complaint is made) will be then interviewed to reply to specific allegations and to have their say about the events outlined in the complaint.
  • The investigator will take detailed notes during these interviews.
  • Each interviewee will be able to check their statement before they are considered finalised.
  • The investigator will determine if further investigation is required such as interviewing witnesses or checking supporting documentation e.g. timesheets, emails etc
  • Once the statements are finalised and all supporting information is gathered the investigator will write a report outlining the findings and making determinations – specifically whether the allegation/s in the complaint is substantiated.
  • The report may also include recommendations, which will vary depending on the situation and on whether the complaint is substantiated.
  • Once the organisation receives the investigation report it is their responsibility to communicate the findings to those involved and implement any recommendations.

Why use investigation services?

In some instances a conciliatory or negotiated approach to resolving a complaint or grievance may not be appropriate and a determinative, evidence based process is needed. Investigations ensure that no conclusions are drawn on the appropriate resolution until the complaint had been thoroughly examined.

Investigations are a prompt, independent, confidential process, which take into consideration all the relevant information in order to be fair in making a finding based on available evidence and the balance of probability.

Other questions?

Q.: Can support people be included in the interviews?

A: Anyone involved in an investigation may have a support person to be present if they wish. The role of a support person will be clarified by HR and the investigator.

Q: Are investigations confidential?

A: Investigations are a confidential process. Workplace policies and Human Resource staff will clarify what this means for those involved.

How is a Logan Consulting Group investigation engaged?

In the event that an investigation is commissioned, Logan Consulting Group would liaise with the Human Resources department or a relevant manager who can authorise an investigation. At this point, the scope, process and logistics of the investigation would be established.

If you are interested in gaining more information on Logan Consulting Group’s Investigation Services contact us at admin@loganconsulting.com.au

For more information is on the fact sheet: Workplace Investigation: How does it work?

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